Human beings were designed to face threats in their environment with a “fight or flight” response. If they were facing a dangerous animal, their bodies would release a surge of adrenalin. Today we do not have to face the same kind of threats, but our bodies still react in the same way.
A certain amount of stress can be healthy but persistently high levels of stress are toxic. Teaching kids how to deal with stress is important, particularly now that many of them are studying from home.
Set up a schedule
Cambridge International Organization has an article about student mental health and Covid, showing that education systems are under strain as students at school and college face more stress during the pandemic.
Setting up a daily schedule for your kid that includes study, eating and play is vital under the current circumstances. It can be stressful when a day stretches ahead without any kind of schedule when a kid is used to a structured day at school. The brain likes order and when an environment is orderly, it is calmer.
Allow your kid to have input into setting up the schedule. Small chunks of study are far more manageable and breaking each hour up into 40 minutes of study, followed by a break of 20 minutes, gives a kid enough downtime to play and rest.
When you lack time and there are crucial deadlines to meet, you must think of outsourcing their assignments instead of working under pressure and delivering poor work. EduBirdie is the right recommendation where you get a team of essay writers who are expert in doing everything from school homework to college essays. The top writers are chosen carefully based on their writing skills and subject expertise so you can be sure that work will always be of high-quality.
Learn how to listen
As a parent, you may make the mistake of always giving advice but never giving your kid enough time to talk. When your kid feels you are listening, he or she will calm down and you can have a proper conversation. Open conversations where you acknowledge what your kid is feeling and address any concerns can go a long way towards reducing stress.
Stress may be manifested in different ways like excessive arguing, withdrawal or defiance. Parental support is extremely important if a kid starts to exhibit such behavior changes when getting an education at home. The biggest thing is not to overwhelm your kid with trying to get them to engage and be perfect, but just to get them involved and do the best they can.
Teach your kids to listen to their bodies
Kids may not recognize the symptoms of stress or know how to manage them. Encourage your kids to listen to what their bodies are saying. If their stomach hurts or they get headaches all the time, they could be suffering from stress.
A good way to illustrate this is to sit in your car with the kid and rev the engine. Explain that just like the engine revving too much isn’t good for the car, the body revving too much because it is stressed is not good for health.
Deep breathing is one healthy strategy to overcome the natural reaction of the body to stress. Demonstrate to your kid how to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth deeply and regularly. It may be helpful for your kid to count while breathing in and then while breathing out. Doing this for three to five minutes can effectively reduce anxiety and stress.
Follow good mental health practices
Getting enough sleep, eating healthy food and exercising are all important for good mental health. The best way to teach these self-care strategies is for you to follow them. Getting enough sleep is essential if you want a kid to be able to concentrate and study. Having a regular bedtime and a set time to switch off all electronic devices can help a kid develop good sleep habits.
Kids are used to having social contact at school and can feel isolated and alone when studying from home. This can be very stressful for them and result in depression.
While it may not be safe for them to see other kids in person, it is still possible for them to interact online. Video chats are closest to seeing other kids in person and can help your kids to spend valuable time interacting.
Manage your own stress
Stress is contagious. If you are stressed, your children will pick up on it and be stressed too. It is very important for them to see how you deal with stress and manage to stay calm in difficult circumstances.
Pursuing activities together, like cooking a family meal, is an ‘oxytocin booster”. The release of oxytocin helps to create feelings of trust, love, and safety. This not only helps kids to manage their stress but creates resilience to future stress.
Having healthy family meals together, doing daily exercise together, like going for a bike ride, encouraging teamwork and creative problem-solving, and celebrating successes together can help strengthen family relationships.
A final word
Remote learning can be stressful for parents and kids. You will benefit from setting up a schedule, and teaching your kids to listen to their bodies, recognize stress symptoms and deal with them. If you want their kids to learn how to manage their stress, you have to be an example to them. Healthy food, exercise, good sleep and practicing stress-busting techniques can all create the right basis to handle stress effectively.
Michael Turner works as the sales and marketing head for a startup in the FMCG sector. He joined the company after completing his MBA and loves to help business students who need help with writing thesis, essays, term papers and dissertations. In his free time, he likes reading finance and economics papers, listening to music and try DIY woodworking projects.